The most oppressed people on earth today are the Yazidis. We, the Jewish people, who carried the same title for thousands of years, should be the first to acknowledge the plight of the Yazidis. While the UN, relief agencies, and liberal groups focus almost exclusively on the Arabs of Gaza, they completely have forgotten about the Yazidis. It makes no sense except for the fact that these groups want to constantly take swipes at Israel. They really don’t care about the real victims. They only care to beat up Israel at every turn. The Yazidis should be their priority.
The world has been silent on the desperation and despair of the Yazidis. The world turned a blind eye during the genocide in Rwanda and more recently in Syria. The world has once again turned a blind eye to the genocide of the Yazidis. We human beings cannot allow this to happen.
I mentioned this recently to Ambassador David Friedman while visiting Israel with former Governor Scott Walker.
I am not denying that it is admirable and laudable what the Trump administration has done to defeat ISIS who have murdered, raped, and enslaved tens of thousands of Yazidis. However, it is more complicated than at first glance.
The Yazidis are one of the first groups on this planet to embrace the Abrahamic tradition of monotheism. They are not Muslims although many speak Arabic. They are not Kurds even though they are lumped into the category of ethnic Kurds. They predated Zoroastrianism and are not Zoroastrians. They live in the Nineveh Plains where the story of Jonah took place. They took refuge on Mount Sinjar along the Iraqi Syrian border. They are a group that has existed for over 3,000 years and are now facing annihilation. ISIS has made it one of their absolute obsessive goals to remove the Yazidis from existence. Unfortunately, pockets of ISIS still exist and are continuing to wreak havoc upon the Yazidis. ISIS still holds 3,000 Yazidis as slaves in a UN camp. How the UN can allow this is beyond belief. Physicians for Human Rights has spoken out on behalf of the Yazidis. Presently there are 200,000 who are displaced. Asylum in America is first given to persecuted Muslims long before it is given to the Yazidis. This is an injustice. There are Jewish groups trying to save the Yazidis, including Renanah Goldhar of Toronto of the Yezidi Human Rights Organization. She has been at the forefront of the fight to save the ancient Yazidi people.
Unfortunately, the Yazidis have been caught in the crossfire of the Kurds who have helped America the most to help defeat ISIS (they deserve a state of their own) and ISIS itself. Although the Kurds at times have helped the Yazidis, at other times they have not. The Kurds have been armed by America; the Yazidis have not. As a result, the Yazidis are sitting ducks for ISIS. The Kurds on occasion have left the scene, allowing ISIS to murder, rape, and enslave the Yazidis.
It is high time to realize the Yazidis are in dire need of help. America should come to their rescue.
Joseph M. Frager is a physician and lifelong activist.